Hometown Heroes - Carmen Gary

Army nurse during WWII
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 7:23 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - 100-year-old Carmen Gary sums up why she got into nursing during World War 2: “Loving people. I love people.” The native of Puerto Rica was in occupied Germany following the war, tending to wounded soldiers.

“It’s hard to tell because we saw everything from amputees to...they die. You work with the sick and you work with their sickness. You feel their pain, actually.”

Monica Leblanc lives two blocks away and became friends with Carmen several years ago. She’s fascinated by her war stories.

“A lot of the amputees that were very young and scared to death because you know losing a leg or arm is just horrible for a young person,” said Leblanc. “So she was there to comfort them. Pretty much helped take their pain away to help them through that time.”

“She has taken care of a lot of the wounded that came in,” said Leblanc. “A lot of the dying, where she was able to comfort them during their last minutes here on Earth.”

Carmen met her late husband, James, while they were serving in Germany. After her military service, she returned to the United States and had a nursing career at W.O. Moss, St. Patrick, and West Calcasieu Cameron Hospitals. Gary will turn 101 on June 21, 2022.

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